New Beginnings

 

“Mama, I’m scared.”

She reached down, smoothed his hair, whispered, “It’s okay.”

His grip tightened around her leg, fist closing on the ear of his stuffed bunny.

She crouched, put a finger under his chin to lift it. “It’s bunnies. Just bunny feet.” She looked at him and smiled. “They’ve come to visit their friend here.”

He pulled the stuffed animal to his chest, she wrapped her body around his, squinted her eyes at the ceiling, flinched at the explosions on their roof.

“Bunnies hopping,” she breathed, closed her eyes. “Lovely thought. When we go, we’ll go with them.”

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

March 19, prompt: RabbitIn 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a rabbit (or many rabbits) on the roof.

 

 

Road Trip

 

“This isn’t going to end well, is it.”

He glanced in the rearview mirror. “That a question, little lady?”

“Not really,” she sighed. They’d just passed the exit to Jimmy’s Ice Cream, where he’d promised to bring her. Why the hell had she hitchhiked? Whatever happened now would be her own damn fault. Idiot. Her dead cell phone may soon have some company.

“Well,” he cleared his throat. “This ain’t no fun.”

She rolled her eyes. “Yeah, well, join the club.”

“You ain’t scared?”

“Eh.”

He slid a gun from his waistband. “Now?”

“Cool. Can I see that?”

“Er…sure.”

Okay, folks. This is my first ever choose-your-own-adventure flash. What happens next? 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

February 27, prompt: Open Road In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes the open road. Where will the trip lead?

 

 

 

Mermaid Misses Ocean, Files For Divorce

 

Following a four month separation, Princess Melody filed for divorce.

Melody is confident about her decision. “I have no doubts,” she told reporters. “The prince is dumb as a barnacle,” she sighed. “And the chef is still serving seafood for dinner!”

The prince is confused by Melody’s choice to end their marriage. When asked if he plans to contest the divorce, he answered, “I didn’t know there was a contest. What do I win?”

Melody is in negotiation with the sea witch for a potion to become a mermaid once more. “That,” she said, “would be my ‘Happily Ever After’.”

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

November 21, prompt: HEA (Happily Ever After) In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story with a Happily Ever After.

Wow. A challenge to get my original piece (almost 300 words) down to 99 words. I’m usually trying to add to word count. 😉 This one was tough.

 

 

Dressed to Kill

 

The fall of 1978 would be remembered for generations.

 

I loved the story of the princess woken by a handsome prince. Each year, on Halloween, I became that princess.

I walked alone, trick-or-treating, while groups of guys mocked my dress and made lewd comments. Girls threw rotten apples poisoned with hatred and intolerance.

Mrs. Halloran, who was always kind to me, held a bowl of candy but pulled me aside. She gave me a bright, red apple and a smile.

Our neighborhood lost 27 kids that year. Poisoned. All but the boy in the Snow White costume.

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

August 8 prompt: Poisoned Apple In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story with a poisoned apple.

 

 

Red Wine

 

She always added ice to red wine. Reds should be enjoyed at room temperature and I wasn’t shy about saying so. I guess I shouldn’t have picked on her for such a thing.

It annoyed me.

She’d chill a bottle of Chardonnay in the cooler and leave a Merlot on the counter. Why add ice?

She stirred the glass with her finger and I could hear sloshing and clinking. It grossed me out but I never said.

It was the sound of unhappiness. And that, too, annoyed me. At the gathering after her funeral, I ordered red wine, without ice.

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

May 23, prompt: Ice In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story without ice.

 

 

At the Zoo

 

“C’mon, Sarah, let’s go.”

“Be right there. Just reading one more post.”

“Argh. Fine. But at least try to make it quick.”

“No problem. Two minutes.”

“Pfft. Right. I’ll give you five and you still won’t be done.”

“I will. Promise.”

“Not likely. Hey, let’s make this interesting. Care to wager a bet?”

“Sure. You can even time me on your stupid ‘smart’ phone app thing.”

“Already started.”

“Almost done.”

“Tick. Tock. Will you look at the clock. Tsk. Four minutes and she’s still on the laptop.”

“Uh…”

“Oh no. Five minutes! Ha! I win.”

“Uh… So did I.”

 

Dialogue-only, 99-word flash. That’s what that is up there. Also, it’s a post about my recent win at the Carrot Ranch Rodeo.

The challenge, as you can guess, was to write a 99-word flash with only dialogue. Yikes. And, for added torture fun, the judge, Geoff Le Pard, gave us a picture prompt: 🐢

I somehow managed to pull off a win (actually, two wins since the judging was blind and they had no idea who wrote which story). Yeah, I know. It’s kind of shocking. Also, kind of cool.

The 2nd place flash is slightly darker (and a bit sad) as I’m wont to write. 1st place is slightly humorous (and a bit fun) as I’m less wont to write. 🙂 Here they are for your dining pleasure:

AT THE ZOO

 

“Mr. Le Pard?”

“He’s not here.”

“Isn’t that him?”

“Yes. It is.”

“Okay. Well I need to deliver—”

“He’s not here at the moment.”

“But he’s right there. You just said.”

“He’s probably at the park…maybe the zoo.”

“Excuse me?”

“You must be new.”

“Well, yes. Today’s my first day. I’m Susan. I told him that earlier but he called me Shelley.”

“Ah, the zoo it is then. He’s off visiting his friend, Shelley, the tortoise. No telling when he’ll be back. Just leave the lunch tray, Susan. One of the nurses can bring his meds back later.”

 

LET ME SPELL IT OUT FOR YOU

 

“Mommy, that man’s kissing the tortoise.”

“He’s not kiss…oh, dear God. Zookeeper!”

“What seems to be the problem, Ma’am?”

“The turtle—”

“Ah, yes. Sad state of affairs, that is. And it’s a tortoise.”

“What are you going to do about it?”

“Not much I can do, you understand.”

“I do NOT understand.”

“Can’t just magically change the situation, now can I?”

“You must do something. The turtle—”

“Tortoise.”

“Whatever! Stop giggling, Jenny.”

“Don’t worry, Ma’am. We’ve hired a witch to reverse the spell. Should be here next week. He’ll have his wife back then. Enjoy your day.”

 

The Tent

 

Though officials took us in, their welcome was forced.

The meadow was dotted with makeshift dwellings which looked like heaven compared to what we’d endured to get here. Pa ruffled my hair, whispering that it was over. We were safe.

He was half right.

A woman with long, grey braids approached Pa, pointed to the edge of the meadow, patted his shoulder, and walked away. “What is it, Pa?” I followed his stare to a yellow tent.

“There’s not enough food here,” he pulled me close. “We’re in the lottery.”

”Are we staying in the yellow tent?”

“Let’s hope not.”

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

August 2, 2018 prompt: Yellow tent In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a yellow tent.

 

 

Chaos in Black & White

 

We talk, words spinning around each other like flurries caught in a gust of wind.

Eventually, our thoughts drift down and settle on the ground in a blanket of confusion.

With an incredible vocal range, we sing a song of misunderstanding. High notes, encapsulated in love, float through the air. Low notes, heavy with meaning, cling to our faces and hair. They are a jumble of uncertainty.

His world, in black and white, frustrates me.

My world, in greens, yellows, and blues, frustrates him.

We never tried to understand.

Now we do.

Only to discover we are mutually colorblind.

 

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

February 1, 2018 prompt: Black and White In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features something black and white.

 

 

Self Care

 

She looked in the mirror at the woman she swore she would never become.

A soft, almost-youthful face with fine lines.

A handful of grey hairs hiding beneath dark blonde strands.

A pudgy middle pushing the waistband of her favorite pair of jeans.

The image irritated her. Angered her.

How had she become this…thing? This wife of a man who created her with perfectly weaved words of manipulation and cruelty then cheated on her for becoming his creation.

Time for some self-care.

She grabbed the prescription bottle, smiling for the first time in months, and dumped her husband’s heart medication.

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

November 30, 2017 prompt: Self Care In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes self care.

 

 

Getting Busy on My First Date

 

His tie was blue. A nice enough color. The geometric design wasn’t all that unpleasant. A bit modern for my taste, but not obnoxious.

I suppose it could have been his shirt, with its burgundy basketweave pattern. But, if I’m honest, the whole thing blew up because of his pink paisley jacket.

I couldn’t tell if he was nice enough for me to look past his fashion faux pas.

When my sister asked how the date with her co-worker went, I shrugged, “I have no idea. His clothes were so loud, I couldn’t hear a word he said.”

 

 

Totally goofing this week with a ridiculous entry for:

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

September 7, 2017 prompt: BusyIn 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a busy character.